Poor working environment, gender discrimination, etc. ‘De-Japan’ wind
Dollar-converted income 24th out of 38 OECD countries
An analysis has emerged that the phenomenon of Japanese moving abroad due to outdated customs and anxiety about the future is increasing.
On the 19th, Japanese online media Courier Japan translated and reported an article from a Tokyo correspondent titled ‘Japanese who are tired of old conventions and want to leave their homeland’ in the French daily Le Monde last month. Last year, GJJ
Overseas Employment Desk , a Japanese overseas job search information company, reported that the number of job search inquiries from Japanese looking for a job abroad jumped 1.5 times compared to the previous year. It is said that inquiries not only from young people but also from older adults have increased. An official said, “Previously, most of the applicants were graduates of prestigious universities under the age of 40, but now there are also applicants in their 50s and 60s.”
Even if wages are raised by 3%, real wages are ‘-0.2 %’
[Image source = Pixa Bay]
Le Monde introduced the case of Yuki Mizuno (26), who left Japan and settled in Australia with the introduction of a friend early last year. Mizuno works four days a week at a restaurant in Sydney and earns around 400,000 yen (about 3.85 million won) a month.
Mizuno said, “If I did the same job as I do now in Japan, my monthly income would be about 190,000 yen (about 1.83 million won),” and “life is more convenient here.”
Hidemi Fujita, 28, also moved to Sydney and works as a nursing assistant. His income jumped to 800,000 yen, twice that of Japan. In addition, Fujita introduced, “She is recognized for her politeness and sincerity unique to Japanese people.”
The media said, “The number one reason Japanese people go abroad is economic. In Japan, non-regular workers have increased rapidly since the bubble economy in the late 1980s, and wage levels have been stagnant since the 1990s. Last year, the value of the yen against the dollar and euro has plummeted. Even though it is the world’s third-largest economy, the sense of inferiority is getting worse that its status is declining.”
Japan’s dollar-converted income is lower than Korea, Italy, and France. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD ) statistics, the average salary in Japan in 2021 is $39,711 (about 53 million won), ranking 24th out of 38 member countries. It is half of the US (74,738 dollars, about 99.7 million won).
Japanese conglomerates promised an increase of nearly 3% in wage negotiations this spring. This is a level not seen in the last 20 years, but not enough to keep up with inflation. Nissei Basic Research Institute predicted that real wages would fall by 0.2% rather than rise if Japan’s inflation is taken into account this year.
Poor working conditions, poorer lives of women and sexual minorities
Screen capture from the movie ‘Suzume’s Lockdown’
Le Monde introduced, “Along with income issues, the thirst for working conditions that enable a ‘better work-life balance’ is one of the reasons for wanting to move abroad.”
“In the case of Japanese companies, evenings or weekends after work on weekdays and paid vacations are not guaranteed,” he said. There is, but it’s rare to spend more than half of it on an actual vacation.”
He also pointed out, “It is not easy to take a year of parental leave. For women, pregnancy means the end of their careers.”
Izumi Sakamoto, a researcher at the University of Toronto in Canada, said, “In Japan, which ranks 116th in gender equality surveys, there is a remarkable tendency for women and sexual minorities to leave (overseas).”
He left Japan more than 20 years ago because he was disillusioned with the sexist and patriarchal society. “Women’s work is encouraged even because of the labor shortage, but Japanese politicians still want women to take care of children and the elderly at home,” he pointed out.
Opportunities for women with better academic performance than men are still limited, which means that leaving the country has accelerated.
There is also a warning that “the risk of ‘departure from Japan’ may be lower than that of ‘remaining in Japan’
At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which tells the horrors of the atomic bomb that was dropped on August 6, 1945, visitors look at exhibits that reproduce the appearance at the time of the drop on the 18th. [Image source = Yonhap News]
Meanwhile, the Asahi Shimbun, citing the statistics of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January, said, “As of October 1, 2022, the number of permanent residents abroad has reached an all-time high of 557,000.” Although it decreased, the number of permanent residents increased by about 20,000 compared to the previous year, mainly those who went abroad in search of a better life and work.” This is an increase of 140,000 compared to 10 years ago안전놀이터.
Koga Shigeaki, a former high-ranking official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, also a current affairs critic, told the local media, ‘Exodus from Japan! Through a column titled “The First Year of Exodus,” he pointed out that “this year will be the first year when Japanese youth’s ‘escape abroad’ begins in earnest.”
Critic Koga said, “Low wages, abuse of power and sexual harassment in the workplace, discrimination against non-regular workers and women, concerns about the collapse of the pension system, and young people who think there is no tomorrow in the Japanese economy from the beginning. Nevertheless, they remain in Japan and work hard to support the elderly. Is it really wise to work?” and warned, “It is clear that the risk of ‘remaining in Japan’ is much greater than the risk of ‘evacuating Japan’.”